Walks (including Cliffs of Moher)
Just outside our gate you can walk on a variety of different loops of varying distance. There are walks with hills or without. Taking a left out the gate will bring you uphill towards the cliffs. To the right, you can do the low lying loops around Clahane. The Cliffs of Moher Walk can be up to 14km long for the intrepid and fit looking for a challenge. It is stunning, one of the finest in Europe. There are shorter sections that can be tackled with ease, especially if time is against you. You can reach two separate sections form us by foot. A local taxi may be required to drop off or collect if you fancy going for a longer hike. On longer stays we recommend guests to look up the many beautiful and famous walks in The Burren, which is only a short drive from us.
Just down the road by the water is Clahane. It is a small towns land of Liscannor with a famous little swimming hole. It is safe to swim here off the rocks. It’s a beautiful place to relax and read a book or even catch a few rays. We swim down here everyday in the summer. There is an excellent loop walk coming straight out of the retreat which brings you alone the waters edge and then back again. It’s approximately 5km and a lovely way to get some fresh air and exercise. It’s not unusual to spot dolphins and porpoises here all year round and it’s a great bay for snorkelling. Many of our guests spend a lot of time here and the swimming spot is a great place to test your bravery!
Nearby we have a lovely café and gift shop where you can get some unusual gifts. The Rock Shop is a popular stop off point for tourists on their way to the Cliffs of Moher and the shop is large and well stocked with unusual items such as semi-precious stones, geodes, fossils and crystals. They have a lovely café (devilishly good cakes) and you can get online. The best bit is it is a 5 minute walk from us! The gift shop sells also everything from beautiful household items to cashmere blankets. It’s the perfect place to wander over to, have a cup of coffee (and a delicious homemade cake) and pick up a few presents for your loved ones. They have beautiful jewellery and everything is handpicked by their in house purchasers.
This quaint little fishing village is well known for its pubs and seafood restaurant. It’s another great place to explore and stop for a cup of tea. The pub fronts are beautiful representations of the old Irish Village and Liscannor has a very old history . There is a pretty little harbour there but most people come to Liscannor to sample the fresh seafood caught out in the bay and to listen to the traditional Irish music sessions held in some of the local pubs. It’s a great place to sample some rural village life. Just outside the village is Cill MacCreiche (Kilmacreehy) Church, one of the most ancient ecclesiastical ruins in County Clare. There is a beautiful beach walk right beside the church where you are likely to have the strand to yourself.
The seaside town of Lahinch has plenty to offer with cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops. The beach is beautiful with dunes backing onto the world renowned Lahinch Golf Course. In years past Lahinch was primarily a Golf holiday destination but has opened its doors to the growing surf community. There are surf schools if you fancy a lesson or just want to rent a wetsuit and board to play in the waves. When the tide is out there is a spectacular walk along the strand to the estuary and back, it’s magnificent. Lahinch is a seasonal village which is mostly quiet during the winter months and heaving in the summer. There is great nightlife and there is a really good music scene too.
Considered a Mecca of Traditional Irish Music, Doolin is a gorgeous village spread out over an area with some of the most beautiful views of the Cliffs of Moher. This is the place to find a few traditional Irish tunes in the evening in one of the local pubs. The lower village leads out to Doolin Pier where you can catch a ferry out to the Aran Islands. There are great walks and beautiful views and the Cliffs of Moher Retreat is only a 10 minute drive from the centre of the village. Doolin, right where this photo was taken, is the start/finish point on the 13km long Cliffs of Moher Walk.
The market town of Ennistymon is only a couple of miles from Lahinch and there is a new cycle/walking path connecting the two. Here you will find a lovely small town on the river Inagh. There are many beautiful examples of old Irish shop fronts and it doesn’t take much to imagine this town 100 years ago when it was a bustling market. It has a traditional Irish main street with plenty of pubs, no surprise, and with some surprisingly interesting shops. There is The Guru Tea House, where you can try teas from all over the World served with care by very attentive staff. There is a lovely French Creperie, Oh La La! and a very good health shop, Goodness me.
The Burren is a karst-landscape region covering most of North County Clare. It is a Unesco GeoPark with green road walks to rival any in Europe. With ancient tombs and monuments, geological wonders, vast cave systems, stunning coastal drives as well as it’s unique botanical richness, The Burren has so much to offer everyone who enters its rocky domain. This place is a National treasure. To get to the very heart of the Burren it is around a 30 minute drive from us. We can arrange tours easily. The Burren is a famous rock-climbing destination and this can easily be arranged while you are here. For nature lovers there is unique flora and fauna found in this rocky landscape.
Ireland’s reputation as a surf destination grows every year. Some of Irelands finest places to surf are very close to us. The famous wave at the Cliffs, Aileens, can be viewed on a good day with some of our local boys and girls testing their skills against the sea. If you want to paddle out while here we can arrange lessons in Lahinch. Bens Surf Clinic www.benssurfclinic.com offer lesson packages or rentals and operate all year round. The best time of year for surfing is Autumn and Winter but you can find waves all year. The beach in Lahinch is the perfect place to learn and there are reef breaks up and down the coast for more seasoned surfers.
Bike hire is available in the area too. There are some beautiful routes nearby which are safe and take in the beautiful views of Liscannor Bay.
When the weather permits, there is no better way to see the rocky shore and cliffs than from a kayak. Half day trips can be arranged on request.
Tours – Cuckoo
Cathal (Ben) Bennett of www.benssurfclinic.com can tailor a half day trip taking in all the area has to offer, including all of the above.